If you are looking into getting an electric bicycle, here are a few things you need to take into consideration... Please note that all electric bikes are different, but here's a quick overview..
Good Riding Practices and Proper Riding Etiquette
A bit different from your average pedal bike, when you are starting from a standard start, it is important to use a low gear. Starting with a low gear will make it easy on the electric drive train. Roll the power on slowly to reduce strain on the motor. This will also increase the range that the battery can take with just a single charge of battery.
Whenever you go up hill, avoid accelerating or speeding. The best way to run at a hill is to just take a run using your battery powered bikes. Remove the throttle as you climb up using your bike's momentum instead of using power to get you on the top. If you want to maintain a steady climb, you may also use the motor instead of using the pedal. NOTE: Unless your ebike has torque assist, which means your electric bike will change gears automatically when going uphill you'll need to change gears on you own. Hard life..
Instead of breaking to slow down, roll to a stop. If you will this, you will find that the battery charge will last you longer. The brakes of your bike will improve too.
Other ways to increase the length of the battery charge is by riding slower, accelerating slowly, and taking longer braking distances. Always keep in mind that once you double the speed of your bike, it will eat up four times the power required.
In most states and provinces (if not all) electric bicycles are legal on city streets. Even if there are no other restrictions, always slow down. Follow the street legal speeds regulated and treat the other bike users (even the regular drivers) with utmost respect.
Charging the Batteries and How To Take Care of It
Do not plug the battery charger in to the bike if the battery charger is plugged in to the wall plug. If you will do this harmful act, this will allow and 86 volt spark to jump across the wall socket and into the plug. This will cause the wall plug to fail and you would need to replace it right away.
If the electric bike needs charging, plug the charger to the bike first without turning it on then plug the power charger to the wall. Once done, you may turn on the charger.
After using it, top the battery off. Even if you will be using the bike for a short ride or you will travel short distance, it is important to top the battery off instead of doing a full recharge. By doing so, you are increasing the longevity of your battery's life.
When charger the battery, use lithium-ion charger only.
To avoid fire, do not overcharge the battery.
Make sure that the temperature of your surrounding when charging is between 10 to 30 degrees Celcius.
Never leave the battery unattended whenever you are charging it.
If the temperature of the battery is above 60 degrees celcius or if it already expanded, stop using it.
Do not store the batteries above 60 degrees Celcius.
Do not short circuit the battery.
Do not modify or disassemble the battery.
Maximum charge is 10 amp.
Maximum discharge is 200 amp.
Maximum continued discharge is 50 amp.
What Is A Duty Cycle?
Duty Cycle is the measuring of the amount of usage any component can handle safety without experiencing any failure. We measure duty cycle by getting the percentage of usage in a time frame of 10 minutes.
For example, a 30% duty cycle means that you can operate the bike in 3 minutes out of 10 before you can do it one more time.
However, take note that during summer or the days when it is relatively hot, the duty cycle of your bike might be lesser.
Taking Care of the Motor
From a standing start, start slowly by rolling on the power. Even if you start more gradual or you jack rabbit start, you will arrive at your destination at almost the same time. However, jack rabbit start will consume triple or even four times the amount of power.
Whenever you quick start the motor of your ebike, it is like short circuiting the insides of the motor as well. This process is costly since it can lead to controller or motor meltdown.
If large amounts of power will be consumed, do not ride the bike for a longer period of time. Doing this might burn the motor or controller of your bike. Always remember that if you burn the motor or controller of your bike, even if you just recently purchased it, the warranty of your investment will be voided.
After using full throttle or if you are just taking a break to cool down the motor, ride at reduced speed for a few minutes.
Riding at wide open throttle for longer period of time will melt down the motor of your bike.
If you are not using an electric mountain bike, do not use it in steep uphill grades that are not smooth or even soft sand. If you will be using your ebike on these places, it can also cause your motor to melt down. If you want to ride on these kinds of surfaces, it is better to get a dirt bike instead of an ebike.
Never use your ebike in steep rocky or rough grounds as well as soft sandy terrain. If you will use low speeds and full throttle combination, the possibility of the motor failing is high.
Do not ride in salty conditions nor store your bike in wet and cold conditions.
Your Ebike's Tires and Suspensions
Neglecting to maintain the tension of the wheel spokes might lead to wheel failure.
Replace wheel bearings when needed.
Replace brake pads when needed.
Replace flat tires when needed. You would not want to drive with your wheels flat, right?
Replace the tubes with thorn or high quality DH resistant tubes.
If you do not like repairing your flat tires because you need to remove the wheels from the bike, it is possible. You may ask one of your friends to balance the bike on the kick stand so that the wheel will be off the ground. With this, it is easy to slip the tire off the rim. From the right hand side of the bike, pull the tube out then pump the tire after patching the hole. You might be surprised that you can do this in just a few minutes.
Building a tool kit that will fit all the main components of your bike is not only important; it is very useful too. Some of the things you need to include are a tire pump, a patch kit, a multi tool, and tire removal tools among others.
Add at least a drop of machine oil to all moving parts of your bike. If you will drop oil on the swing arm bearing and shock bolts, they will stop squeaking.
Preserving Your Bike's Cosmetics and Paint
Wash your electric bike as needed. Whenever you are doing it, you may use automotive soap, an open garden house, and a soft cloth. Avoid spraying in the inside part of your bike.
Never use a pressure washer for it will push water under the electrical connections and seals of your bike.
If you want to tie down your electrical bicycle, do not use a strap or a rope as it will mar the paint job on your bike.
Mechanical Drive System
Make sure that the chain is properly adjusted at all times.
Replace the chain of your bike with the chain used in most BMX since it is 30% stronger than the ordinary ones.
Lubricate the drive chain using a chain lube frequently or as needed.
No matter how tough or best the bike you are using is, if you will not able to follow these do's and don'ts, you will just waste a lot of your hard-earned money. In order for you to have as much fun as others do, it is important to always follow these guidelines. Try and go along with other riders. Ride with them every weekends. Riding is not only fun; it is also building your network or group of friends sharing the same interests and passions as you.
NOTE: This is an independently written article and it does not reflect the views of Rosso Motor, or Rosso Motors products.